Arsenal 4-1 Sunderland: The Guff


A 4-1 win over Sunderland yesterday got things back on track somewhat. Here’s some of the reaction from the papers, blogs and beyond.

Arsène Wenger had maintained that Olivier Giroud had the strength of character to rise above his off-the-field problems, that the centre-forward was one of those guys who found release from other matters when the intensity of the day job took over. Giroud proved him right here, as Arsenal did what they have done for almost the entire Premier League season: beat teams that they ought to be beating. – David Hytner, Guardian.

Olivier Giroud may have considered his own demotion to the bench against Liverpool in the FA Cup as something to be expected. Remaining there against Bayern Munich though, would have been humiliating. It seemed to work, as his performance in his return to the side was more like the player that was rattling in the goals when Arsenal were winning game after game in the autumn. – Online Gooner.

[Giroud], absent from last week’s clashes with Liverpool and Bayern Munich for what manager Arsène Wenger insisted were footballing reasons, marked his return by giving Arsenal an early lead and adding a second just after the half-hour mark in a commanding performance that keeps Arsenal on Chelsea’s shoulders at the top of the table. – Ben Findon, Telegraph.

First of all, I have to pay tribute to Arsenal. They were excellent. But I won’t accept defeat just because the opposition were better than us – we still have to perform to a level I expect and they did not. Technically we were poor – we were second best in everything and therefore we lost and lost heavily: simple as that. – Gus Poyet, Sunderland Echo.

Against Utd I bemoaned the fact we keep trying to recreate Jack’s incredigoal against Norwich, when the odds of pulling it off are absurdly low. Which isn’t to say you shouldn’t try, just that it probably shouldn’t be your plan A, B and C. But Sunderland’s training cone-style press proved the perfect stage for a recreation. For me the Norwich goal remains the pick, because several of the passes are taken on the volley, but this was still an utterly sublime move. – Arse2Mouse.

In Özil’s absence Santi Cazorla took the central position to good effect just behind the main striker – a restored Olivier Giroud – and Jack Wilshere was able to push forward repeatedly, linking with Tomas Rosicky on one flank and Lukas Podolski on the other. Occasionally in that sumptuous first half there was a back-heel too many instead of a shot, but that could be forgiven. – Steve Tongue, Independent.

Follow the links for more post-game reading.

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